Get Hands-On in America’s Heartland

Get Hands-On in America’s Heartland

New North Makerhood

Omaha, Nebraska

Known for its beef industry and world-class zoo, Nebraska’s largest city also has multiple neighborhoods devoted to the creative arts. The newest and most exciting artists’ hamlet is the aptly named New North Makerhood Arts and Trade District.

Designed as a central hub for the creative class, this north downtown neighborhood boasts communal artist studios great for group exploration. When fully realized, the former blighted warehouse district area will cover about 30 acres, roughly 20 city blocks.

For now, pop into the multilevel Hot Shops Art Center for one of its regular open houses to see more than 80 artists at work. Among the most popular is the Crystal Forge, a glassblowing operation where you can watch the magic happen. Besides the forge, there are three other makers that put the “hot” in Hot Shops, among them a metal foundry, an iron forge and a ceramics studio. Hot Shops is itself a collection of dozens of artists’ studios and galleries.

Another co-working space that allows visitors is nearby Bench, which bills itself as a collaborative-use building for artisans and builders and offers monthly skills classes and access to a library of specialty tools. The new Millwork Commons, headquarters of a locally grown tech company that also serves as a community-building space, contains the locally owned Hutch furniture shop, another great artsy stop in the area.

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